Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Early Early Birds in the City of Accra

Is there still such a thing as stirring early at 7 am in Accra? The traffic has wrought wise owls of us all. We've had to push forward leave-nest time by 15 minutes every 6 months for the past 10 years. Now I wake up at silly-goose hour. The city flies the coop when a subway is suggested, and we're all chicken-livered at the idea of bicycles. But why should we ride and be a sitting duck for the trotro-bus to peck our limbs off? They swoop around the city as the crow flies. By the time the city authorities get their ducks in one row, the early-bird worm will wriggle out at 2 am.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

How the Military Assaulted, Non-Assaulted, then Un-Assaulted a Journo

When you blow a cloud of dust on my face, or spill a cup of water down my back, tickle my pits, dribble your forefinger down my cheek, or trickle melted chocolate on my chest while I’m asleep, without my consent, you have assaulted me in law. So when videos went viral of Ghanaian G.I.s (hyperbole alert!) choke-holding, hammer-locking, strong-shoving and face-tossing a pussycat journo on Independence Day, I joined to shout the ‘shame’ refrain. And when the military opened Ostrich investigations, called as many as zero witnesses and played possum with the raw, stripped, naked truth, I dog-pissed on their decency. What did they go and do? They went to say sorry. I accept; I hope the victim does too.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Kantamanto - A Reason for a Fire

I recently favourited a tweet by @Be_Wisdom: “Surburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them ~ Bill Vaughan”. Some developer or interloper whooshed a flame through a tin-and-wood Central-Accra market that's crowded thick as fleas. The police won’t find the arsonist. I suspect strongly that the cinders are intended to make way for the construction of a capitalist, concrete-architectural crime-scene (how else to describe the explosive sprout of sterile office and apartment blocks in the least-green city that I know?). These traders are squatters in most of these settlements – we all know that; but usually squatters on governmental no-man’s land; permitted to settle for a decade or two or three. After the cinders, the riots, the cracked skulls, the lies, the justifications and the public loss of interest, a hideous and humongous habitat will hulk over the land that was known as Kantamanto.

Friday, May 3, 2013

A Set of What?

I bet your system includes a planet called Pluto. 

2 reasons I wouldn't buy that.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

German Football Highs & Other Random Questions

Will all German teams now score 4 goals in their sleep?
Does live tv make court proceedings better?
Will Luiz Suarez grow up at last?
Will Apple's fortunes go down forever?

Friday, April 5, 2013

MPs' Pay & Other Random Questions

Do our MPs really identify with us?
Will Hillary Clinton 2016 happen after all?
Will the government buckle to the doctors or lecturers first?
Who does the thinking for the National Service Secretariat?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Illegal Chinese Miners & Other Random Questions

Who else will go on strike tomorrow?
Will the lights be on when I get home today?
How many guinea fowls will GHS47m buy?
Will China lend money to Ghana again?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Blogcamp 13...is about Tilapia

Nobody can regale you with the savoury story of how to 'tooth' the char-grilled flesh off the skeletal frame of the Piscean, Tilapia, better than a Ghanaian/Ghana-resident. That’s why I blog; I know the pulse of Ghana; I sing her song.

Blogcamp 12 was a platter of soft-cooked Banku with devilish dollops of sweet pepper, shito and Kpakpo, and a greasy pound of queen tilapia tiara’ed with tomatoes and golden onions. A palette of pleasant people; soul-stirring storytellers looking for an audience with eager palates.

So what will 13 be like? Come Saturday, come hungry for fun.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Social Media

Year - twenty thirteen
Samsung - Tech Queen

Hangout - Facebook/Twitter
Reason - Flirt with not one jitter

Others? - Those mental dances
Pay-off - Network it enhances

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

You No Go Sort Me Out?

‘Chale, I dey go house wey my fuel short. Make you sort me out.’

Impetuous, inane, puerile ... thing; moulding pie with putrid hubris for filling. Demanding dough with a sense of entitlement. I stone-face him, power up the window and cruise down Spintex Road.

‘Oh, you no go sort me out?’ he barks.

He does not say ‘please’ once. In my rear-view mirror, he’s already trudging up Spintex Road.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

I Don't Know What to Say

Are you saying somebody will find 100 Cedis and give it to the anti-social person? Are you really trying to stop a bad habit?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Flower Girl in the City of Accra

At Ridge, where Gamel Nasser Avenue deceives to fly over the Police HQ, I watched a tight, green, Afric-fabric frock ‘hallmarked’ with delightful petals...on a milk-choc mannequin on the move. Loose, flair-sleeves, rich-blue, florid frills like garlands on the neck. Sitting on her body like the immaculate skin of a flawless fruit. Frivolously creased at the hamper-hips, where the dress rode up. Why did she have to go and tug it downwards? Our little love affair was quickly done.

Monday, March 4, 2013


I do it in private, not caring that it’s become a scorned ex-lover since the 1950s. On Saturdays, after Colgate and Listerine, I pull out a hard, light, chewable, juice-releasing stick of Tweapea, and sweep its budding bitterness over every milky spot of enamel. The flavouring flourishes into a fine, addictive tang. And teeth have never stood with more integrity after such tender care.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

A Galaxy of Clothiers in the City of Accra

This threadbare city supplies its own golden gifts. Clothiers, clusters of them, in kiosks are hung on the corner of every street. Caftans, kabas and cardigans; suits, skirts and slits; jumpers, jackets, jumpsuits and jeans; they make them all. Frocks, tunics and pajamas too. And there’s a tailor/dressmaker for every epoch, pocket and preference. Only downside, your clothes will be ready in two weeks or three or six; it all means the same thing to them.

Friday, March 1, 2013

No More Ice Cream in the City of Accra

There is no AC/DC in the city of Accra. Electrons don’t crackle through our coils. There is no mint chocolate chip, lemon custard, raspberry ripple. No strawberry or vanilla. It’s difficult to know who to electrocute with ten thousand volts of blame (if you can find one volt, that is). Our city is hot and chock-full with hordes of idiots. Bubble gum, pistachio almond, blueberry cheesecake, egg nog, daiquiri ice, Neapolitan! There’s no frigging frost in your Frigidaire to keep the ‘ice’ gellid in your ‘cream’.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Ghana's Brand-New Bastille

Electricity, water, fuel, crime, traffic jams, corruption. Right now, Ghana feels like a big, brand-new Bastille.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Growing Old in the City of Accra

Dashing and hunching through the trenches of ‘37’, a soldier hops off a moving truck and almost scythes down a two-rider scooter. A driver and his puerile passenger disembark and force-push their cart of a van through the narrow slits between cars onto the pavements. And an old man and woman snail across three lanes five metres before the zebra crossing. They  trundle along hand-in-hand, smiling at each other, locked in some riveting powwow, ignoring jolting jalopy, wayward warrant officer and bemused blogger. Oh, how I loved them!

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Tribute-Prince

The Denkyira State held sway over the towns and peoples surrounding it. That was most of southern Ghana today. It had subdued the Akan-speaking clan-towns for miles in all directions. As a sign of its dominance, Denkyira required periodic tribute from the defeated clan-towns. The Oyoko clan which had settled around Kumase was required to send a tribute of a young male royal to serve at the court of the Dekyira king, Boa Amponsem, at the capital of Denkyira, Abankesieso.

One particular tribute was an Oyoko prince: tall, handsome, lean-muscled and quick-witted. He showed early signs of military genius and quickly endeared himself to the warlike king, who treated him like a son... almost. However, the young man was not free to come and go as he pleased because he was still a kind of slave. He was the toast of all at the court - both men and women.

One day, the tribute-prince succumbed to the power of his charm over the women of the court and (not knowing his place) spent the night with Ako Abenaa Bansoa, the King's sister. Abenaa became pregnant. In accordance with the law, the ‘offender’ had to be put to death. But he was a man of lofty fate, and his spirit would not give up easily. He fled to the kingdom of Akwamu where he was given refuge by King Ansah Sasraku. On several occasions, King Boa Amponsem sent people to King Ansah Sasraku to demand the return of the fugitive tribute-prince, but the Akwamu king refused. Although Akwamu was a powerful, warlike kingdom, Denkyira was undoubtedly superior in power. Akwamu sheltered the prince at great risk of war. But the war did not happen.

The tribute-prince was dearly loved by the Akwamu king who had him drafted into the army. He learnt the disciplines of strategy and tactics (and stratagem), and the complex war formation of the Akwamu army. After many years, the tribute-prince wished to return home. He had grand designs brewing in his head and in his heart. In Akwamu, he was neither a tribute nor a slave. Therefore, King Ansah Sasraku not only permitted him to leave, but also gave him 300 men from Akwamu's elite forces. The men were tasked to ensure that the prince arrived safely, and remained safe upon arrival, at Kumase.

With little incident, the prince's party arrived ‘home’. He formed a strong bond with a priest of unrivalled manipulative, hypnotic and mental power. They set about uniting the Oyoko clan with the other clans through coaxing, manipulation and passion. A new State was born – Asante. When Asante was ready, it marched a colossal army against Denkyira. King Boa Amponsem had long died and been succeeded by his 'son' Ntim Gyakari. In the Battle of Feyiase, the prince and his priest friend struck a blow for independence by killing Ntim Gyakari and routing the Denkyira army by using the Akwamu-style military formation.

The free Asante State was born. It would soon become a massive empire. The name of the tribute-prince was Osei Tutu. In a dark, romantic twist of the tale, some historical accounts hold that the slain Denkyira king, Ntim Gyakari, was the very son Osei Tutu had had with princess of Denkyira, Ako Abenaa Bansoa.